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Showing posts from April, 2021

FIELD NOTES: Hire for talent, reward for skills

Last week’s Field Notes started with an anecdote about a shrine to the Virgin Mary, and this week’s starts with a tale about another shrine of sorts.  In February 1989, the technology startup where I was employed, Fox Software, was acquired by Microsoft. A handful of the top-level managers and programmers were transitioned to Seattle, but the majority of the workers, myself included, were offered a token severance and sent on our way.  Just a few years out of college with a wife, a beagle, and a mortgage, I was anxious to find a new job quickly. After responding to dozens of newspaper classified ads, I was able to secure a couple of interviews. One of those was with a small plastics manufacturing company about 30 minutes from my house.  I drove down in my best suit and waited patiently in the lobby. The job opening was for sales manager, and in all honesty, I was marginally qualified; it was one of those “what do I have to lose by giving it a shot” sort of situations. But they called m


I  Site selection consultants, when asked about the most critical factor determining where a business locates, invariably say, "workforce." While this is undoubtedly true at some level, I think most local developers would point out that during the initial search, product, not workforce, is more typically the crucial factor. If a community does not have the site or building a company requires, they will never have the opportunity to promote the quality of their workforce. A building or site is the ante that allows communities to get into the game, and without one, workforce, airports, highways, railroads, and universities are little more than words on a marketing flier. Rural communities across North Carolina are especially aware of the impact of available buildings and sites on their ability to compete for jobs and investment. Metro areas often have private-sector developers competing for the right to put up speculative buildings, or at the very least, willing to partner with

FIELD NOTES: You cannot be cereous!

Regular readers (and thanks both of you!) know I started college at Ohio University but graduated from Bowling Green. While both are fine academic institutions, they are pretty different. Ohio U is a cluster of classical brick buildings nestled amongst the rolling hills of southeast Ohio, while Bowling Green is an eclectic mix of architectural styles rising starkly from the windswept plains of northwest Ohio. Perhaps the most significant difference, though, at least in my day, was the food. Bowling Green’s campus food service regularly won awards for its quality and innovation. Ohio U … uhm, did not. 
  As it turns out, the difference in student dining experiences was also a lesson in economics. Ohio U was an “all you can eat” system in those days. Each student was issued a “dining card,” which was updated with a new sticker each quarter. If you had a current card, you could enter any dining hall at any time and eat as much as you wanted. At Bowling Green, students bought “meal coupon

FIELD NOTES: Pro hockey coming to Wadesboro

Woody Sports Entertainment announced today that Wadesboro, N.C., has been approved as the newest franchise in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). The team, which will be known as the Anson Loggers – a nod to the region’s forestry and wood products industry – will begin play for the 2022-23 season at the new Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena in Wadesboro. The SPHL currently has teams in 11 cities across the South and Midwest, including the Marksmen in nearby Fayetteville. “We’re especially excited to see how that rivalry develops, seeing that the cities are less than two hours apart,” said Loggers General Manager Bulge Davenport.  The Anson County team will play at Peaches ’n Cream Ice Arena, formerly the Wadesboro Walmart Supercenter. “When the building became available last year, we thought, hey, that’s about the size of an ice rink, and the rest was history,” said Davenport. The arena is named for the nearby roadside attraction which signed a multi-year naming rights deal report